Author Topic: Want to do pavment free ride with camping, does this exist in Texas?  (Read 11875 times)

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Offline txsbluesguy

I’m a resident of Houston Texas and want to do a cycling centric vacation but I’m having trouble finding resources or the type of vacation I want to have. I hope you can point me to a resource of a direction.

I’m beginning to think that what I want to do does not exist in Texas at all or without paying a company to provide it for me.

I want do a long off road ride with camping between ride sessions. I’m do not want to do a traditional road style touring ride. What I really looking to do is to go to a park and unload my bike and trailer up with my gear and do cross country riding for a half day to get to my camp site then camp. So far I really am striking out for this type of "adventure" in Texas and Louisiana. I'm looking for something like the Lone Star Trail but for cyclist. I live in Houston and really want to get away from cars so I don’t want to ride from camp ground to camp ground on a highway or even back roads touring style I would like to keep dirt and grass under my wheels as much as possible. I would like to stay in nature and be able to stop and take photographs and take my time.  I figure it would want to do 50-60 miles a day for a couple or three days.

Is there ANYTHING in Texas where this can be done without paying an outfitter? Is there someone you can point me to that may know?

Offline joraff

There definitely aren't as many options as if you lived in the mountains, but there are a few. Here are some I'm familiar with:

[li]Then there are the endless miles of dirt roads in the rural Texas counties, unless you're strictly opposed to doing dirt roads. I did a 3ish-day Waco-Abilene-Waco route and made state parks my nightly destinations. The dirt roads around Houston are probably going to be boring, so I'd recommend starting somewhere a little more interesting. North Texas (Denton and beyond) have some amazingly beautiful hill and grassland dirt roads. West of the central texas I-35 corridor is also quite beautiful, hence my starting in Waco. Once you get past I-35 most of the roads other than the state highways become dirt and are quite desolate. They definitely satisfy my craving for desolateness.

Happy riding,

Offline txsbluesguy

Thank you for the reply. I've narrowed it down to Big Bend or the Caprock Canyon Trailway.  both seem to offer the distances I want with he primitive camping experience .  Sam Houston is closer and more forest like what i want but so many of the trails are closed due to drought tree hazards and not sure if any will be open later when i take my vacation. 

Offline DebKirk

Re: Want to do pavment free ride with camping, does this exist in Texas?
« Reply #3 on: July 10, 2012, 06:34:45 pm »
Deb and I looked at Bastrop State Park and the adjoining Buescher State Park. It is as remote as it needs to be and there are plenty of logging roads and some single track with hills. The only issue is that a good piece of these parks was ravaged by a forest fire and parts are still picking up debris and other parts look like the surface of Mars.
We have been looking for a state park tour south of Austin to take 3-4 days. We thought of starting at McKinney Falls SP, taking a road ride to Lockhart SP, then on to Palmetto SP just north of Gonzales. The ride between the parks is about 30 miles. this option puts you on the road more than it sounds like you want, but the scenery is nice, you can follow the San Marcos River part of the way and the barbecue in Lockhart is worth walking the trip barefoot.
Anyone got any improvement suggestions.
After 40, crashing does not hurt as much as getting up

Offline reed523

Re: Want to do pavment free ride with camping, does this exist in Texas?
« Reply #4 on: September 03, 2012, 09:31:41 pm »
I think the Caprock Canyon Trailway might be a good option for you assuming you wait until the weather cools.  Shade can be VERY difficult to come by.